The fellow on About.com who writes about atheism and agnosticism did a piece on atheists in amateur radio, and noted that things seem to be changing even there (for the worse, as apologists are taking over HF as well).
The discussion about his article started out about his topic, and rapidly devolved into a rant from several about religion, denying God, the usual apologetics stuff (of course).
I left off with a proposal at the end: if there are so many ham nets devoted to religion, how about starting one about atheism or atheist concerns?
Perhaps it wouldn't work, but it seems it might. And since hams are generally much more polite and circumspect about the FCC's regulations, it doesn't seem like there would be a bunch of shouting apologists in such a putative net.
Thoughts? - James, N4XMH
James & others, of course . . .
Many years ago, when I was standing in a line in bootcamp, the question was posed to me by woman in charge of collecting info for dog tags as to my religious preference. This was 1968, near the end of hippiedom, yet even then, my answer was "None. I don't believe in god."
"Bullshit, son," she said. "There are no atheists in foxholes."
She never knew how wrong she was. There were and continue to be plenty of us.
Now, as to atheist/disbeliever nets, I can tell you that there's at least one group of what would best be called "freethinkers" on the air on a semi-regular basis. Three or four of us are outright, out-of-the-closet nonbelievers. Atheists, if you must. We see no god. We see no need for a god & we certainly see no reason to worship a god or shove any such mystical bullshit down anybody's antenna lead. We just don't believe & that's the way it is. As one of the group has said in discussing other matters, "That's what you get. Get used to it."
At the same time, I have met at least one other out-of-the-closet atheist (by his definition) on the air. To be sure, coming out on the air is a bit of a dicey path, but it happens now & again all the time. And some of us, like me and one or two other guys I meet with on the air, are not too worried about ruffling feathers. Discourteous, maybe. Straight up, yes.
Not too much different from the sort of comportment one might encounter by hazarding to question the belief -- or the need for belief -- of members of any Christian "bible study/fellowship" net.
In sum, it's bothersome to see the increase of such fervent belief among those who, were they stuck with bad gear, would have little problem switching on the logical side of the mind to try and get back on the air. It's bothersome that believer nets & on-air groups are getting to be so vocal (and often tied in hand with militia/guns/conspiracy/racial purity/white pride nets).
But there are some disbelievers, doubters, agnotics, freethinkers & atheists who do get on the air & have, at least so far, been able to avoid being bullied off the air by self-righteous myth tenders. Just remember that it's not open season on god every time we gather. Sometimes we just badger each other over audio ("Get used to it.") or help a friend who's recovering from a stroke get past his partial aphasia. We're just a bunch of people who happen not to believe (we do have a couple guys who are still believers) and that's all it is. I'd venture that there are other collections of folks on the air who are also not solid chuch members. They just don't make a big thing of it, any more than we do.